GO-GO-GO and HAPPY SPRING

Hi Everyone, so sorry, I’ve been missing in action (and I do mean action!) ~ it’s been go-go-go everyday, and today is no different.  But I wanted to catch up,💞 say Happy Spring🌷, and show you a little of what’s been going on . . . MUSICA

I was reminded by Gill, one of our luv-lee Girlfriends, that Mothering Sunday (same as our Mother’s Day) is this Sunday in the UK ~ Kellee and I had just designed this crown which I’d put up on Twitter,  to show what we’ve been up to, promising the link . . . so, Happy Mother’s Day to our British Girlfriends, and to everyone else!  HERE‘s the link so you can print it out! We decorated ours in two ways: first, as shown above, by glueing on rick-rack for the tie . . .

… and second, by tying ribbon through the marked holes (you will see when you print it out). They fit everyone’s head, and they’re fun! And you know, everyone feels special in a crown.💖 And, here’s a little something delicious to help you celebrate . . .

Mother’s Day, as proposed by, Anna Jarvis, the Mother of Mother’s Day, “is a day of sentiment, not profit.”💞

Homemade pancake breakfast-in-bed, handpicked roadside wildflowers, or a homemade Coconut Layer Cake are most appropriate.🍰 And the occasional straw hat or teacup, I would say. Filled with springtime sentiment of love ever after.😍

To our UK Girlfriends: I hope this Sunday will be a day filled with flowers💐 and flowers🌷 and flowers🌸 and remembrance for everything that England has been through these last few days . . . nature is the healing thing, as you of all the people in the world, so obviously know. 🇬🇧 🇺🇸 And in solidarity, with prayers, and blessings, and gratitude for all we have, and best wishes from us to you.💞 I might add, people should not be messing with us.⚡️

It’s been a WONDERFUL trip for Joe and I. We’ve been up and down and across the state,  seeing people we love, to Arizona and back again, and a couple of weeks ago, along the way, we enjoyed this bright worm moon ~ I took this photo with my cell phone from our moving car ~ doesn’t it look like a painting? Love the purplish-pink color above the bushes.

And Barbara, our friend who is taking care of Jack at home, sent me THIS pic (from the Island) of the snow and the wild sea that she took with her phone. Way different weather here, and all beautiful.

Joe and I have had dueling cameras among the flowers . . . I’m taking a picture of him as he’s . . .

. . . taking a picture of me.

Early morning in our garden here at the Studio, long shadows from the Albizzia tree, still too early for blooms . . . but the jasmine that climbs on our house and over the doors (on the right of photo) is blooming and smells wonderful. Loving that the days are getting longer now . . .

From the front porch, you can see that what isn’t green, is yellow . . .

We had a wonderful book signing at the Apple Farm in San Luis Obispo . . . I have so much old time history with the Apple Farm . . . and now they are carrying lots of my books and products and things.  They could Not have made it nicer for us. They even saved us a parking space . . . this is the view from our parking space!

And this is me with some of their wonderful staff!

And here we are inside the tent . . . It was the BEST day! As usual, the nicest people in the world come to my book events. ❤️ As anyone who was there can tell you, I’m not exaggerating.

And while I signed books, Joe took pictures . . .

If you remember the “Pancakes” story from years ago, about my mom and her red lipstick … That’s Murph (who wrote the story) on the left, and Vicki’s on the right . . . along with two friends they met in the line . . . which is why I always wish I was in the line! They have so much fun out there!

Two Girlfriends came dressed in Black Dog T-shirts in honor of Joe and the restaurant he ran on Martha’s Vineyard for 25 years. Pretty sweet!

Father’s and daughters . . .

Two best-friends-for-life . . .

Old friends and new . . . I could show these smiling faces all day . . .

‘Course I’m always nervous talking in front of people, even our Girlfriends!  I do it all with clammy hands. It’s because I work alone for months, then suddenly I’m out and about, which is always a surprise, no matter how often it happens, which really isn’t that often. But everyone was so wonderful and their questions made it easy.

I had so much fun, in the end they almost had to get the hook to make me go. 

We had a mystery guest star in the audience. Cliff came! Cliff, for those who don’t know, is a very controversial “character” from my books The Fairy Tale Girl, and Martha’s Vineyard, Isle of Dreams.  But he was there ~ laughing, saying nice things, and as sweet as pie. No red Ferrari this time, he was quite incognito in his silver Maserati. But you could recognize him from the little speck of blood on his hand from the tree trimming. The more things change . . . We have his fun book in our web store, did I tell you? We do, Cliff’s memoir is called American Made, it’s a wonderful funny baby boomer book, and I’m in it too . . . although he was much nicer to me than I was to him.  And don’t worry, he and Joe like each other, they get along fine, they even man-hug! (Urban Dictionary defines Man-Hug as “a semi-embrace that lasts no more than one second and may be accompanied by a firm slap on the back.”) The two guys have a lot in common: in their lives they have both been bedeviled by the same woman. Hey, it’s my job!

One of the first things I did when I got to the Studio is fill a tiny vase (a child’s teacup) with some little things growing in our garden. It’s my doily mentality that makes me do this, I can’t help it. I thought I would show you just how much of a garden California really is! A little arm-chair travel ~ a lot like traveling to England, only this time, it’s California. Are you ready? Need tea? Go get it, we’ll wait!

So let’s start by getting our bearings. Here we are, on the Central Coast of California, halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco … on that coastal road called Highway One, or Pacific Coast Highway. Very famous and very beautiful. Joe and I are staying just south of San Luis Obispo, and yesterday we drove up to Morro Bay for lunch. Just above that, you can see Cayucos, and above that, see the white star? That’s where we were going. And P.S., fyi, just above that, see Cambria? Heaven little town you won’t want to miss when and if you go. Lots of antiques there and good milling around town. Then of course, Hearst Castle at San Simeon, is just above that! Across from the entry to Hearst Castle is one of the best beach walks I’ve ever been on. Just follow up that hill you see when you get there, and around to the point. You can’t miss it. It’s almost prehistoric. And one more thing, above that is famous Big Sur. Astoundingly beautiful, but the road is closed now ~ the storms wiped out a bridge, and there’s no way in, except by helicopter!

The drive from San Luis Obispo to Morro Bay looks like this (I think most people think of the coast of California as more of a city place, but, as you can see, it’s really not. . .)

If you ever make this trip, you HAVE to stop at the Bayside Cafe in Morro Bay . . .

. . . where you’re surrounded with the fragrance of eucalyptus trees . . . because they are everywhere on the coast here . . . and the smell of the sea . . .

This is the view from our table at Bayside Cafe . . . hence, the name Bayside.

This photo is slightly pink because of the sun through the umbrella over our head, but the food (cheese enchiladas with homemade salsa) is heavenly, and don’t even try to leave there without having their famous Tres Leche Cake (we ate it before I remembered to take a picture, sorry! But it’s a lot like my favorite Hot Milk Cake), a recipe I’ve lusted after for 30 years, but all the begging in the world has not worked with them. Actually, I secretly hate/love them, but will never stop going there and eating that cake. Yum!

Then up the coast we drove . . . Beach Boys, Kokomo on the radio, the perfect musica for this road!

You can see Morro Rock, famous landmark,  situated in the Pacific Ocean in the center of the photo, amongst the artsy highway flora . . .

Here’s a better photo of it. Morro Rock is part of the Nine Sisters, beautiful extinct volcanos that go all the way into SLO.  You can see people walking on the beach down there. You could be one of them if you played your cards right.

Here are some of the famously Happy Cows of California. You can see why!

And here we are, in the parking lot of our destination . . .

Harmony Headlands . . .

And this is us, doing the thing we love the best, on the road less traveled . . .

Off we go, cool breezes off the water blowing . . . slowing down to smell the green things growing . . .

And stepping carefully when encountering some of the lingering effects from the recent wild storms that hit the coast . . .

After maybe a 45 minute walk from the parking lot, we got our first glimpse of the sea . . .

And there it was, off in both directions, the long coastal path . . . you could go forever amongst the wildflowers along the craggy shoreline with the sound the waves and the birds . . .

This little guy followed us for a while, singing his head off (scroll down a bit on my Twitter Page, and hear him singing, and see a video of the coast line) ~ he stood still for a photo, then ran away into the bushes with his girlfriend.

That’s Joe out there, and I’m taking this photo looking in the opposite direction from the first one of the shoreline path, so you can see the drama of the long view . . .

While the waves roll in and the wildflowers bend in the wind . . . By the way, I should say, this is all free. No money changed hands. State Park Property, open to the public. Thank you, California State! You did good! And God! You too! It takes a village!

Getting up close and personal with the wild wood sorrel which grows everywhere on this coastline . . .

and the lupin, too . . .

All so beautiful, and so many different wildflowers . . . look HERE . . .

And they’d only just begun . . . ah spring!Time Out! Celebrate the change of season with a new bookmark from us to you . . . being home with Kellee, we’ve had some fun!

Then it was time to go back . . . one look behind . . .

Past another pair of happy walkers . . . all smiles . . .

I looked down and saw this heart-shaped rock pressed into the path . . . and thought how appropriate it was …

On the way home we stopped in San Luis Obispo at the home of some dear old friends, to catch the perfect sky as the sun began to go down  . . .

The view over the farmlands and vineyards was so pretty, everything so green . . . can you believe this amazing sky? Me either!

They have a hot tub, I believe is called an “infinity” tub, for the obvious reason. Life is berry berry good in San Luis Obispo, California!

What else? Well, Kellee and I have been cleaning out the goat barn here (i.e. the warehouse where we store everything), we found lots of my stuff old enough to be categorized now as “vintage.”  So watch for lots of new/old stuff in the Vintage part of our web store . . . it’s all very one of a kind, last of everything, lots of Christmas stuff (when the time comes). We thought we’d maybe put it on eBay or Etsy, but we thought we better show you first!  Just in cases!

We found a tiny bit of this  . . .

We found a cake plate!

Just one.

And then there’s this: It was a special request from someone at the book signing who said, “Could you please make us a chicken bookmark?” So, Yes, I can! I can’t do everything, but that is something I CAN do! And HERE it is! Just click, print it on card stock, and if you want, get it laminated at Kinko’s or Office Max. Makes a good gift for girlfriends, or stocking stuffer for the chicken people in your life.🐔

In action, it looks like this . . . (and yes, we have a couple of Kitchen Garden books in Vintage, for as long as they last).🌷

And since we were all sold out, and since we loved it so much and heard such good things from our other Girlfriends, we reordered this wonderful book, the New York Times best seller called,  The Natural World of Winnie the Pooh . . .

It’s filled with original illustrations and photos . . .

And delightful history and charm . . .

That everyone is loving . . . 💞 If you haven’t read it yet, I know you will love it.

Okay, let’s see, what else is new around here?

A new book! You might know that sometimes I license my artwork to a company called New Seasons? They make products with my art and this is our new Gratitude Book.

It has a padded cover and it’s embossed . . .

Seventy-five pages filled with my hand-drawn quotes and my art from over the years . . .

A little fun quote book that won’t be around forever, but while it is, we wanted you to know.💙

It looks really pretty with our MOM Book . . .

Where mom’s can give us a lovely bit of lifetime Herstory . . . if you haven’t seen this, it’s also a book from New Seasons ~ a guided book in full color where I asked all kinds of interesting questions about memories of growing up, childhood, school days, romance and having children, and left places for photos. The pages are lined, on nice paper with a ribbon divider. A pretty book, but when it’s all filled in, it becomes a priceless treasure.💞

Well, see what happens when I don’t write often?  I write L  O  N  G !   Sorry . . . this is all because I decided to “catch up!”

One more thing, I got the NICEST letter from a new Girlfriend named Marcy . . . see below . . . I thought you might like to see it . . . it’s her take on Martha’s Vineyard Isle of Dreams … I love how she says she was having tea with Ellie!💞

Off we go, making more memories, we leave on Sunday to go visit my mom and sisters again . . . then back on the train at the end of next week, and home to Martha’s Vineyard for our second spring this year. How Lucky can you Get?  Hope you liked your armchair travel! Enjoy your early spring days darling friends, and thank you for all your wonderful comments. Love visiting with you!

Martha’s Vineyard, Isle of Dreams, Letter from Marcy:

Oh my. I wanted to finish the book but, I didn’t want to. While reading it, I was a part of it. I was on Martha’s Vineyard, I was watching you build a home, I was having tea with Ellie, I was scowling at Cliff. I didn’t want it to end. Side note – I’ve ordered the other two books in the series! Anyway, I don’t write letters (ok, type) but, felt the need to let you know I’ve always had your cookbooks and other books (Girlfriends, Baby Love, etc) but, never thought MV was the kind of book I’d enjoy. Whaaat? Stupid me. When I got my last Barnes and Noble 20% off a single item coupon I said, “why not?” And now, your book is my all time favorite book ever! Don’t get too excited, I’m not a huge reader. However, that should tell you I choose my books VERY carefully. Anyway, after all my years of enjoying your art through scrapbooking and cookbooks, I have LOVED reading about how it all came to be. And, I am so happy that I can still be connected to you long after the book is read. I enjoy your newsletter and website very much.

So, thank you for writing and sharing with the rest of us. For pointing out the healing powers of jammies, tea, kitties, old movies, old books, snow storms and sunshine, cozy fires and cozy beds and girlfriends and the right guy. I loved every page, every word, every picture, every quote.

Fondly,
Marcy Brenner

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578 Responses to GO-GO-GO and HAPPY SPRING

  1. charissa says:

    Yay Susan, What a wonderous post. Thank you for adding so much beauty to my life.
    Firstly to all of our UK GIRLFRIENDS, I AM SO SORRY AND MY HEART IS WITH YOU. It was horrible, but lovely to see compassion and bravery and true hearts unite. I don’t have the right words and can only send what is in my heart. Xoxo

    Your glorious walk truly did remind me of England and it was thrilling to see it. You photographs and words have a way of transporting me like no other. And it made me remember that there are places right in my own backyard to discover. THANK YOU AND THANK YOU FOR THE DARLING CROWN AND BOOKMARK TOO! I love Nancy Luce I bought her complete works a few years back and wish I could have known her and helped her. What a sweet soul!
    Thrilled for your darling gratitude book and all your vintage finds. I think Tom may not be so thrilled;) when he sees the bank statement. Hee hee. He can’t be too mad. It’s me and I love you and he loves me and you love Joe and he loves to fake hate Joe so I think we should be good.

    So sorry to have missed what was surely the perfect day at the Apple Farm with you and your darling outfit and Cliff. A brave soul, as I know some of the GFs are still fresh off the books;) Thought it was sweet that he came. Did he say anything afterwards about it? Inquiring minds want to know;) since he got to see you and all the GFs in action. I just want to hug Joe and say how gracious and what a true gentleman he is… not just about Cliff, just in general. I love that they man hug:)
    And finally, props to Marcy Brenner for saying everything perfectly;)

    Love and hugs to you for all that you do and one for your mom. XOXO. SAFE TRAVELS

    Also… a shout out of thanks to all at the studio who do everything behind the scenes perfectly and with a smile on their face (even if I can’t see it, I can tell.) THREE CHEERS FOR THE TEAM!!!

    • sbranch says:

      I thought Cliff was brave too. I wanted to introduce him, but I was afraid his heart would get broken if anyone was so “fresh” off the books that they wanted revenge! Totally understandable though ~ I will pull out the stops for any guy that hurt one of my girlfriends too! But this was a long time ago, and all is well now. Yes, he called me afterwards, and went on and on about how wonderful it was. He told me everything about the people sitting around him too. So I got that gold star thing again, without any of the stuff that went with it in the very old days! And I couldn’t agree with you more: THREE CHEERS FOR THE TEAM! I love them. It was wonderful being with everyone at the Studio again. They do an amazing job!

      • Charissa says:

        Yay:) You were taking a break and had company! I am so sorry I bothered you!!!! I can’t wait for the mugs. It was nice to see the mug and Elizabeth’s sweet face in order to get a good idea of it in relation to something else;) That’s so sweet about Cliff. I wouldn’t want him to get hurt either. Thx for sharing!! I got my Gratitude book and just wanted to leave a REVIEW:

        What a darling book for a gift or a gift for yourself. The poofy (ie padded) cover is beautiful with raised puffy (ie embossed) flowers. And the inside is filled with Susan’s GORGEOUS artwork and some of her most inspirational quotes. Lovely to sit on a coffee table or to make a little vignette with. A perfect gift for Mother’s day coming up. It has a very nice quality paper and the printing is spot on. Best of all, it comes signed, if you order it here from her website:)

        Birthday Girl,
        I was wanting to wish you a very happy birthday a couple days early!!! I hope you can do exactly what you want to do on your special day. I wanted to take the time to say once again how dear you are to me and I feel so lucky to have found you all those years ago and how with your beauty and grace you have woven yourself into my life and everyday living. Thank you for teaching me how to make my house cozy, myself happy and things special for others. Thank you for lifting me out of the depths when I was in so much pain and making me remember to be who I used to be. You have created a wonderful place here in the world just by being your darling self. A life for you and a place for all of us kindred spirits to gather feel inspired and share I Love to see all the younger Susanbranchophiles (Tom’s word:)) being able to share with their mothers and grandmothers. That makes my heart sooo happy. I can’t thank you enough for the armchair travels, long chats, funny stories, wonderous recipes, girl talk, sage advice and great tips from a trusted friend who gets me because I like all the things Marcy Brenner listed at the end of her letter:) + England, long walks, nice happy people, angel chimes, ‘twine, tea houses, Emma Bridgewater, warm laundry from the dryer, hygge, (I could go on:)) And YOU. I really really like you too;) HAPPY BIRTHDAY Susan Lots of love xoxo

      • Joan Lesmeister says:

        Love your comments. Forgiveness & trying to remember the good things, I need to practice that more…….!!

  2. I so loved seeing you at the book signing at the Apple Farm with two of my girlfriends. We had a great time and hope you come back sometime. I want one of your new cups and hope I get it as a birthday present .You and I are 13 days apart so Happy Birthday a little early. Nina from Norco….

    • sbranch says:

      And Happy Birthday right back at you Nina! I love your name, Rainbolt! That’s a good one!

  3. Kindred Kate says:

    Hi Susan! Guess where I am? My husband & I are on our way back up to Oregon so we decided to come to your recommended Bayside Cafe in Morro Bay! We had fish & chips & clam chowder-yum. Then we took the walk up the hill- what a beautiful view. I wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed your book talk @ the Apple Farm in SLO on March 18th. I am the one who requested the chicken 🐔bookmark & you came through!!!! You are a sweetie to do that. When I get home I’ll print it up immediately to mark my place in the Girfriends book you signed! I hope you are also enjoying the little ceramic Irish cottage. Did you put it on a window sill? It’s the perfect place for mine. We’ve been very busy since your talk: got to see Jeff Bridges give an award to Josh Brolin @ the film festival, placed some of my mom’s ashes @ the butterfly grove at Pismo Beach ( all the butterflies had gone but she’ll be there waiting for next year),on to Santa Barbara to visit friends, then to the Griffith Observatory & the Getty Center, & to Sycamore Canyon Beach north of Malibu. We are on our way home now by way of San Simeon, Carmel, then Oregon. Whew- it’s been a long but beautifully sunny & warm trip; I will be glad to be home, just as you probably feel. Kindred Kate

    • sbranch says:

      YAY! Wanted to make sure you got your bookmark Kate! Very happy to hear that. Also happy to hear you took that walk across from the Bayside. Isn’t it gorgeous? One of my favorites. I love my little Irish house, and yes it found a place in my studio. Your trip sounds positively fantastic, you did it ALL! And yes, to sum up, there is no place like home sweet home!

    • FayE in CA! says:

      Hi, Kate…nice to see you here!

      You and I sat next to each other after Susan’s presentation and talked and talked while waiting to have our books signed. I am the retired elementary school secretary (with the daughter who is in charge of the school library in MA and a granddaughter named Kate!)

      As a retired elementary school secretary I have fond/fun memories and loved the relationships that I had with “my” teachers (mostly…ha!). It was great being a team player with a wonderful staff. When I left the Apple Farm I thought about you and your teaching/librarian career and how you would have been a very pleasant spirit at our school site. Your spitfire spunk would have sparked with mine on a daily basis!! Your warm face and loving heart are apparent instantly and I enjoyed visiting with you. I told my retired principal friend who was with me that you would have been a great addition of our school family. She agreed. 😊

      Hope the rain has stopped in Oregon!! This week we actually had two days of sprinkles here on the South Coast of CA. Crazy! Still enjoying the beautiful green. I need to drive up to Cambria to enjoy that pretty scenic drive before the sun paints everything brown.

      Your trip turned out to be all that you’d hoped for and, yes, it is always great to be home and thankful for our nests on this planet!!

      I truly enjoyed watching Susan open up your teensy cottage surprise. So sweet the way that she fingered it and set it up on the table. The afternoon at Apple Farm was truly a joy.

      Enjoy Spring and all that she offers.

      Nancy AKA FayE in CA! ❤️❤️❤️

  4. Marcy Brenner says:

    Happy Spring, Susan! I’m beyond touched that you included my letter in your beautiful blog. And, admittedly shed a few tears. Silly, right? Oh well, you made my day. Thank you! Gotta go- there’s tea to be made and other Susan Branch books to be read!

    • sbranch says:

      Not one bit silly, because I did too. It was lovely and touching and a true gift. Happy teatime you you Marcy, and thank you again. xoxo

    • Charissa says:

      I love your letter. Especially the last paragraph. You are DARLING! Congratulations:)

  5. Freda says:

    Hi Susan I am sure you are on that train headed home this morning. Just wanted to say thank you for all the beautiful pictures of California coastline . I have read this post twice and I haven’t seen anything about your meeting with people about you movie or tv series. Hope it went well and will be coming in another post. Wishing you an enjoyable and safe trip home. Freda

    • sbranch says:

      We’re home! SO happy to be here. I’ll do a new post soon. Our meeting with the screenwriter went perfectly. We really connected and now she goes off to write!

  6. Merci says:

    Oh Susan!
    How you made me homesick for SLO! I lived in Arroyo Grande and miss it still to this day. So familiar with the Central Coast, Moro Bay, Cambria, Hearst Castle, Los Osos, and all the other nooks and crannies! Living in Payson is beautiful but it’s not the ocean. I told my husband if we can’t go back to SLO then we will have to move to MV to once again be near the water and get the snow we love, sounds like the best of both worlds to me! Continued success with the movie deal, I so hope it works out for you. As for Cliff, how wonderful is forgiveness and the passing of time to ease the sad memories. Thank you for always making my day so special, love your stories and the sharing of your many talents!

    • sbranch says:

      Time cures all ills. It really does, takes away the bad parts, and only leaves the good. Such a blessing.

  7. Danella on the Canadian West Coast says:

    Loved the blog…as usual…loved Marcy’s letter and all the sweet comments. By the time I get to write my thoughts everything has already been written. All I can say is “DITTO”. Big time!

  8. Winnie Nielsen says:

    Good Morning Susan! I am late getting to respond here as we just got home from tow weeks in Spain and Portugal! My phone was not acting well this trip so many times I couldn’t get into various sites with the WiFi. But today, I am home and was able to sit and enjoy your lovely post full of trip news, book news, recipes and all the wonderful photos and stories of your time in California. Your posts are always uplifting to me. And….these new books from New Seasons caught my eye. I am going to be looking to get the Gratitude Book if I can find it. Plus, I look forward to opportunities to purchase some of your vintage storage finds. Those of us who have been with you since your first book love us some oldies but goodies!!! LOL!!!

    I hope your trip back home will be enjoyable and what a blessing to return to the Island in time for daffodil season and Spring!@! Please post us some photos because I know they grow so many fields of daffodils up there. They make my heart sing!

    I’ve printed off the MOther’s Day Crown and will put it together for our upcoming Mother’s Day here. Have you ever tried making the British Simnel Cake that is traditional for this celebration? I would love to be able to be in England on the 4th Sunday of Lent to enjoy this fantastic old recipe.

    Love to you and Joe as you travel home!

    • sbranch says:

      I’ve never tried that cake although I’ve looked at it many times. Quite original. Must try someday! Welcome home Winnie, I’m sure your trip was fabulous! xoxo

  9. Leslie Naugle says:

    Susan, I have reread your three books again, and I must say that I enjoyed them even more than the first time. You Susan, are the enchanting one. I just love you and share with my friends and family your……luv – lee ….. books. It all started when my husband bought your first book for me for Christmas . I have all of them. Safe travels home.

    • sbranch says:

      How fun ~ your husband must be a doll, picking out just the right things for you, Leslie! Thank you!

  10. Kathy says:

    Wonderful blog, as always, Susan. I so agree with Marcy about the book!
    And…thank you for your descriptions of your special spots in CA. I even live in SoCalif and enjoyed reading/seeing your pictures/descriptions of the areas in the central coastal region! We are always racing up highway 5 north to get to the Bay Area and thus miss the beauty of the coast!
    Have already printed out your springtime bookmarks to give to my bridge girlfriends! (We’re all in book clubs too!) Thank you so much for sharing all your talents, ideas, and fun with us!

  11. Carilyn Wolski says:

    Hello Susan! So happy to see that you and Joe are back on the train safe & happy! My goodness, how fast your time out West has passed! Your beautiful California pictures were breath taking! It was like a mini vacation without leaving my kitchen! All of the flowers, sky, and winding oceanside roads were gorgeous!!!!! How hard it must have been to leave, so very long ago!!! AND, I could not believe my eyes and when I read your words that Cliff was at your book signing event!!!!!! Wow! You are truly an angel sent from above, and Joe, too! You are a saint and an example of forgiveness!!!! But, really, with every bad that happens in life, something good comes from it, and your abundance of “good” is truly overflowing!!!!!!!! I guess without the loss of Cliff, your life story would be different! We should all make amends and be nice to Cliff! Thank you Susan for the chocolate chip pancake recipe and crown to print out! And, I am soooooo excited because I just got off the phone with Kelly ordering your “The Little Things Mug , Gratitude Book, and the Wooden Spoons recipe cards…..my Mother’s Day gift this year from my husband Ken!!!!! They will go directly into hiding in his closet until May 14th !!! YOU ARE THE BEST!!!!! Your art and words, in a book or on the Blog, are a ray of sunshine on any cloudy day Susan!!!!! And, I cherish everything Susan Branch!!!!!! Take care. God Bless. (P.S. This week I was freshening up the front flowers beds, and my Daffodils have so many buds, can’t wait to see flowers in Dearborn, Michigan this Spring!!!!!) Bye bye!

    • sbranch says:

      Yes, do be nice to Cliffy. He was young, and couldn’t help it. But he grew out of it, he experienced life, just like the rest of us, and got SOOOO much better (just like the rest of us), but you can’t say that about every ex-husband!!! So I was lucky, because I would hate to lose even the tiniest corner of this lovely lovely life. Including the dark days. I LOVE your Mother’s Day present, you deserve every bit of it, Ken is an amazingly astute shopper! Our first daffy-down-dillie bloomed yesterday! It’s coming!

  12. Barbara from Wolverine Lake MI says:

    wow, so many comments. here’s one more 🙂 I checked out your Martha’s Vineyard book from our library. Love the story of Agnes and what she left behind you were able to use. When I got to the part about Kate Greenaway I was overwhelmed! OMG. my childhood. does anyone remember Kate Greenaway dresses and the hidden pockets??? I probably had 3 of those dresses in my childhood but the fun was searching for the hidden pockets. does anyone else have that memory? I asked my girlfriends if they remembered and nope, I asked didn’t you have any dresses that were “Kate Greenaway” growing up? nope, never heard of it. Surely one of Sue’s girlfriends remembers them. They were so fun. I had totally forgotten until I saw that in your book. I’m savoring every page as I slowly go through your book, and I’m planning to make some homemade marshmallows – maybe to give away at Easter 🙂 xoxoxo

    • sbranch says:

      I never had one, but love the idea of “hidden” anything! Maybe one of our other girlfriends had that experience? You will LOVE the marshmallows ~ it’s almost shocking how different they taste from the store-bought variety!

  13. Jo Ann Pollick says:

    Dear Susan,
    Always enjoy your blogs so much, my armchair travel. I’ve just finished
    re-reading all three books and finding so much I’d forgotten from the previous 2 times! On page 253 of Isle of Dreams you wrote about not wanting to just write a pretty book but one that was useful and would not end up in a yard sale. Let me tell you I’ve been shopping Estate/Garage/Yard Sales for years and have yet to find one of your books. Any news of the movie? Thanks to you and Joe for the joy you share.

    • sbranch says:

      Good! That was my goal alright! I find one in an antique store or used bookstore every so often and usually, foolishly, feel compelled to rescue it and take it home. OR, I secretly sign it and leave it there! Movie news: I met with the lovely screenwriter and we had a great connection, and she’s writing writing, and when it’s finished, it will go off to be “shopped” to studios. Fingers are crossed!

  14. Cheryl Davis says:

    Hi Susan,
    I just read Martha’s Vineyard this weekend and loved it! It was inspiring and heartwarming. Reading it felt like visiting with a friend. I can’t wait to read A Fine Romance.

  15. Linda C. says:

    Dear Joe & Susan . . .
    Welcome Home !
    I am so glad my friends and I got to see you at The Apple Farm on March 18th … I want to Thank You Susan not only for signing 2 of my books, but I also want to say Thank You for offering and signing my copy of the Long Long Long Letter I sent you a month or 2 ago, that was like the Cherry On Top of this trip ! : )
    Your pictures in this Blog are pretty fun and some are similar to the rest of our Chicks Trip from SLO back up to Cambria .
    When I returned home my plan was to borrow “The Fairy Tale Girl” from one of my friends for another trip I was going on, however when I learned they both had lent out their books I hurried over to Vroman’s in Pasadena and bought myself a copy . . . oh well, now I have something new for you to sign next time our paths meet !
    Before I close I want to wish you a Wonderful Birthday next week…Enjoy !

    With Love,
    Linda C of So Cal

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you Linda! And I look forward to signing that book for you! Until we meet again . . . ❤️

  16. Becky from Illinois says:

    Dear Susan,
    I just finished Martha’s Vineyard Isle of Dreams and I just have to tell you your words came at a perfect time. I am 63 and in a waiting period…waiting for the divorce to be final and waiting for my house to be sold. I am looking forward to a wee house for a wee woman. Thank you so much for your words of encouragement.

    • sbranch says:

      Wee house for a wee woman is the perfect haven for the changes to come. Nurture the HECK out of yourself Becky. XOXO Sending Love.

  17. Christine Morgan says:

    Susan
    What a wonderful sunny blog to open up on a dark rainy day in St. Louis. I never have been to California but I am keeping notes so when I do have the opportunity to go I will know all the good spots! Safe travels!
    Chris

    • sbranch says:

      I keep trying to tell everyone to go to the Central Coast of California, or Sequoia or the Gold Country, or the Wine Country or Yosemite or the Redwood Highway . . . these are the places to see! Such an amazing state . . . I’m sure I left out something, there’s a lot!

  18. I had so hoped that our trip up to San Luis Obispo for a reunion meet up with my husband’s cousins would coincide with your talk there. But alas, the cousins are traveling from farther away and so we had to wait till this coming week. To help me get over my disappointment, I treated myself to ordering both Fairy Tale Girl and Martha’s Vineyard – Isle of Dreams (I’ve had – and loved – A Fine Romance, since it first came out, and since finishing the newer two, I’m re-reading it again. Just as delightful the second time around!). I really enjoyed all three books more than I can say. Marcy already said it best – I felt like I was there with you too. When I finished Isle of Dreams, I wished there was a Fourth book in the trilogy 😉 – one that would cover all the years in between, leading up to A Fine Romance. You and Joe and kitties getting married, moving to your current home, starting your (then) new traditions together, etc. Any chance of that happening in your busy schedule? Thank you for all the hours of reading pleasure and inspiration you’ve given us. Hope you and Joe are enjoying a pleasant trip back to your Isle of Dreams. I know those kitties will be happy to see you (and vice versa 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      We are home … got home a week ago from a very busy trip . . . we needed a vacation from the vacation! We’ve had guests for the last 3 days, and in between we’ve just been taking time off to be regular people, unpack, get to know our house again, and begin planning what is next in our lives. Thank you so much for your good reviews of the books! I love hearing that Terri! Maybe I need to do a book about how Joe and I bought our Spring Street house in 1989 and everything that happened in this House of Creativity. I know it will be something. I also have this urge to do a travel type book about my beloved New England.

      • Yes!! Yes!! Both such great ideas for future books, dear Susan! Hopefully, my ‘handmade hugs’ will arrive just in time for your birthday. 🙂 I hope the words will hold special meaning as you plan the next steps in your creative path!
        Love & warm hugs,
        Dawn (in Illinois)
        ♡♡

  19. Fran R says:

    Dear Susan,

    My Dad passed away last week on my 59th birthday. On that day my sweet Mom, five siblings and I spent the day at his bedside taking turns holding his hands and singing his favorite hymns. The most precious gift that I received that day was when he looked at me and said, “I love you” while I held his hand and stroked his forehead. Later when one of my sisters commented that she loved our Dad’s hands, I started thinking about all the things that those rough and calloused hands had done in his lifetime. That night I stayed up until the wee hours writing My Dad’s Hands, the eulogy that I had the privilege of giving at his funeral later in the week.

    The rest of the week was a flurry of activity for all of us, as we helped Mom make funeral arrangements for her husband of 64 years, welcome guests and answer phone calls. During those emotional days and nights, sleep was elusive but on the eve of Dad’s wake, I prayed that blessed sleep would come; knowing the days ahead would be difficult. My prayer was answered and while I slept I dreamed that I was sitting in your kitchen visiting quietly with you over a cup of tea. I don’t remember what we talked about, but I do remember the sense of peace and comfort that I felt sitting in that space with you. Thank you for sharing your kitchen with me at a time when I needed it most. Fran

    • sbranch says:

      I bet we talked about our Dads. Because I wrote the same thing about my Dad’s hands, before he died. I’m so touched with your dream. Deep sigh. Life is so strange sometimes. Sending you love love love, and memories galore, and quiet healing in the months ahead.

      • Fran R says:

        It’s a comfort to think that we did talk about our Dads. I had forgotten about your post about your Dad’s hands but I went back to it and remembered reading it when you first posted it. The other thing that I remember from my dream is smiling when I saw your iconic stove. Thank you for your words of support and encouragement. Fran

  20. I’ve noticed several references to Jack only. I tried googling the question but no answers. What happened to your most recent sweet Girl Kitty 😕

    • sbranch says:

      Yes, Girl Kitty went to heaven last August. 😟 She was a good one. Many years of furry love and laughter.

  21. Crystal says:

    Crystal Burns from Cannon Falls Minnesota
    Dear Susan, I tried to do a pre-order of your set of 3 new mugs, I gave my credit card information but I think it did not go through correctly. I have ordered things in the past. I was wondering if one of your helpers could contact me regarding this.
    From your Minnesota girlfriend, Crystal

  22. AngieTink says:

    #GoodMorning #SweetSue Hey I #TweetedYou In #Twitterville Just #CheckingIn Today April 7th Our #Grand~Baby #Taylor Turns #13YearsOld #WelcomeTeenager 😉 We Shall Be #Celebrating #AllWeekend & Speaking Of #Birthdays…. 🙂 What #SpecialPlans Do #You Have For Your #ExtraSpecialBirthday????? Wishing You & Joe & Jack A #DelightfulSpringWeekend! Yay! xoxo #Poof 😉 😉 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      I saw your photo of Taylor . . . what a doll she is. I bet you looked just like her at that age! My birthday has already begun. Moments in time with dear loved ones, that’s what my birthday is going to be about, I can already tell. xoxo

      • AngieTink says:

        #GoodMorning #MyBirthdayGirl!!!! Happy Birthday To You (I’m Singing) 🙂 Happy Birthday To You….Happy Birthday Dearest Sweetest Most Adorable Sue… 🙂 #HappyBirthdayToYou! Now Close Your Eyes & Make A Wish & May ALL Your Birthday Wishes & Dreams Come True! We Are CELEBRATING You 🙂 The #EntireYear! Sending You Extra~Hugzzzz & Always LOVE…& In #Twitterville Read Your Tweets From ME…..My #Pixie~Dust Works There 😉 & I LOVE Posting Lots Of Magical Photos & #Your Art~Work! Yay! 😉 I Know Your Birthday~Celebration Will Be Joyful & Filled With Lots Of Fun & Frolic… Hugzzz For You & Joe & Jack! Yay! I’m Always With You In~Spirit & Here… & On Your F.O.S.B. Page & In #Twitterville! Happy~Birthday Sweet~Sue Oh & Herbster Says…. “Happy Birthday Sue” 🙂 Yay! P.S. When I Posted That photo of Taylor I Swear I Thought To Myself…OMG It’s Like I’m Looking into a Mirror of My Youth Even Her Outfit was #Me #Crazy…. 😉 Thank~You #My #BirthdayGirl 🙂 Now Go….Celebrate…Twirling~Into~Birthday~Bliss!!! #Forever21 😉

  23. Crystal says:

    Dear Susan,
    Thanks so much for the wonderful, happy, beautiful and uplifting things you share with all of us. Your special kind of love enters into many homes all over the world and you inspire all of us to make this world a more loving, cozy and happy place for all of us and the people’s lives we then touch. The world needs more of this as we all deal with the harsh realities of life. We all need this uplifting that you are so good at. Thanks.
    Love, Crystal from Cannon Falls, Minnesota

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you Crystal, that was so sweet! We’re kindred spirits … one person can make a difference!

  24. Rebecca Walsh says:

    Happy Birthday next week from one Aries to another.

  25. Georgie Bonsanto says:

    Dear Susan,
    WELCOME HOME!
    I’m finally catching up on things in your world. Mine has been busy,,, I;m glad to take time to relax and journey along with you and the girlfriends walking dusty paths to the sea and smelling wild flowers 🙂 What a wonderful trip you had. I know your Mom was so glad to see you. Birthday celebrations with family are the BEST!
    Sending XOXO from NJ,
    Georgie

    • sbranch says:

      Love hearing from you Georgie . . . it’s a good sign that things are getting back to normal at your house!

  26. Vicki says:

    Susan, I don’t know if it’s too late to leave another comment in here, ’cause we’re now over two weeks from when you posted, but I’ve just been scrolling thru your Twitter again for up-to-the-minute ‘reports’ and the thought struck me that I wish you could collect all your Train Travel 101 tips into one place for us ‘new’ train travelers (wannabes and soon ones, hopefully). It might not be easy to go back and find all that…but even off the top of your head, I think it would make a great post (like remembering to bring an ext cord). Would be so helpful to us newbies, if you had that Tips 101 (handy) list. You’re always so positive about the train; you’re their best advertisement!

    I was only on Amtrak once, like over 30 years ago, and it was busy summer season, headed for San Francisco; I was just a day traveler, the train was packed with a lot of families, kids running wild up and down the aisles (and Amtak was having trouble with the toilets); it was like earlier days, I think before Amtrak got their act together (frankly, it was a ZOO, and I actually said, ‘that’s the last time I ever get on a train’). Because of you, though, I’m willing to give it a go again. Through your many photos and posts of train trips to date, here on the blog (even breakfast menus!), I feel I’ve got enough sense of it to know I could like it! It seems the longer hauls are more sane, and that’s what interests me. Clearly, so much has changed for the better in decades since I took a train, and I really also want to support rail service; I don’t want it to go away! I have a significant family history of male relatives who ‘worked’ the freight trains in the earlier part of the 20th century and I’m proud of that history; I still have my grandfather’s railroad keys (he was a section foreman on one of the lines, and he and my grandma lived in a house provided by the railroad; it’s how my dad grew up, out in the middle of nowhere; born in that house, by the way).

    So, yeah, I wouldn’t have thought of train travel except for you but I now think it’s the only way to make a cross-country trip for my husband and me in the near future because I really just do not think anyone is going to get me on a plane in these days and at this age (a lot diff from when I was a younger vacationer and felt invincible). It makes more sense to take the train across the big section of the country, to me, and then rent a car at a destination; will be less tiring for my husband than all that driving by car.

    I can remember driving through Texas on I-10 (relocating back to California) and going hundreds of miles across that giant state from east to west and it was a lot of desert repetition; just very monotonous and sleep-inducing (not what you want when you’re at the wheel of a car!). We’d go ‘forever’ and not even see another vehicle, seriously. I don’t want to repeat that sort of thing ever again. (Not to blast Texas; I lived on its Gulf Coast for three years and my dad was born in the north; I’ve still got a lot of relatives and friends throughout the great state of Texas and our family has had a presence there since the 19th century! Just say’in…) Thing is, from the train, you still get so many great views; almost the real heart of the country, no?

    • sbranch says:

      If the train is crowded and you are in coach, especially if you’re going any distance at all, it can easily feel like a zoo! Once was enough for me too, I accidentally did that a long time ago, on my way to Florida during spring break and every kid in America was on that train doing their best to party like there was no tomorrow. Don’t let that happen to you!😜

    • Debbie Boerger says:

      Hi, Vicki,
      I’ve driven across Texas a number of times. This is a rhyme Tom and I use, can’t remember where we found it….

      The sun is riz
      The sun is set,
      And in Texas
      I is yet!!!

      The worst trip was the time the old 50’s era VW Bug had the lever for the hear stuck open. The evenings get cold, but it was in the 100’s the next day. Fried left foot, but on the long straight away, we stuck that foot out of the window. We were young and limber way back then 😉

      On a later trip with my honey, I-10, way in the West, was shut, so we had to take an hour’s detour through the real, live desert! Saw your actual bleached cow skulls. So hot the AC gave up. But fun memories now!!!

      Debbie in Tampa…….for now

  27. Crystal says:

    Dear Susan, I called your wonderful helpers and got my mug order done correctly. I am really looking forward to getting them, thanks so much. We are finally coming to visit Marths’s Vineyard this spring. We will be there the week before Memorial Day. We drive from Minnesota to Nova Scotia where my family lives. Visit there for one week, then we drive with my Mother and sister to your wonderful island. We have rented a cottage in Oak Bluffs for 5 nights. Should give us time to explore your island. We are so excited to finally be going there. Take care and bye for now. Love Crystal from Cannon Falls, Minnesota

  28. Megan Zambito says:

    I saw recently that Rainy Day is now selling the Emma Bridgewater pottery. Not sure if you knew already or were involved in that decision. It will be nice to have the option to purchase so close to home.

    • sbranch says:

      I wasn’t involved, but we used to have another wonderful store here on Main Street called Bramhall and Dunn, that carried Emma. They closed their doors, so it was smart for Rainy Day to pick up the line!

  29. Debbie Boerger says:

    Loved your response to Clarissa re Cliff. Hanging onto old wounds is self-inflected pain. I will never forget the night I truly “forgave” my ex. What a load off my soul!. I think I realized that I could not wish bad things on someone I had once so dearly loved. Looking at old pictures and seeing the joy and love on my face forced me to see it as a blessing to have loved and been loved. I now call him Cousin Bob, and that is exactly how I think of him.
    My Tom said he was first attracted to me because of my attitude toward Bob. If nothing else, that was the payoff for forgiveness.

  30. Barbara from Wolverine Lake MI says:

    Not sure when you will read this. Ever since you have mentioned Glady Taber I’ve been searching….bookstores (zip), libraries (found 1 book), online (pricey_….. every now and again I find a single book and I read it 🙂 but they are hard to come by. I have watched Christmas in Connecticut several times and it’s adorable. I have a work girlfriend who is from Connecticut, her dad still lives there in a farm and every time she goes “home” to visit I tease her about her Gladys Taber farm (which she assures me is very primitive and not at all glamorous. Anyway, I get off subject, tomorrow according to your calendar is GT’s bday! we decided (several of your SB girlfriends at work) that we are going to celebrate the day! one is bringing in tea, milk and sugar. I am baking a GT recipe (apple dessert) and we are so looking forward to doing that. Maybe others might be inspired to do the same.

    • sbranch says:

      Stillmeadow isn’t glamorous, your friend is right, but it’s very real. In case you didn’t see it, did a post about our visit to Stillmeadow HERE. FUN way to celebrate at work, just wonderful!

  31. Marcy’s letter says it all…I am actually reading the book again and enjoying it as much as I did the first time around! I enjoyed the trip to CA through your eyes – it’s been many years since I have been there. Beautiful photos and thoughts!! How interesting that Cliff came to your book signing – proof positive that you are a special person!! Your friendly stalker, patti

  32. mary spring says:

    …good morning, birthday girl..’just stopping in to wish you the best birthday possible !!.. as I write this I am back down in california from the seattle area, being with my dear , sweet Mom..she broke her arm in two places trying to keep up with my Dad’s flower gardens.. God bless her, she is doing a little better and better every day.. I love being back here with her.. I am sitting upstairs in my room now where I was born and raised, with that beautiful moon shining thru the windows..happy birthday, sweet Susan.. may all your birthday wishes and good dreams come true !!..with love, as always…

    • sbranch says:

      Born and raised! What a gift to be in that room. Hugs to you Mary, and to your mom and dad! And thank you! xoxo

      • mary spring says:

        ..good Easter morning dear Susan .. thank you for writing and yes, it is a gift to be able to have the time to be back home (in this house that once held a dear family of ten children and the bestest Dad and Mom ever !!! ) !! I’m so grateful to be able to spend this precious time with my Mom..I can still give her gentle hugs..as for my dear Dad, he passed away last September right after his 92nd birthday and I miss him so that my heart still aches.. I was always a daddy’s girl..thank you dearSusan for helping us carry on with so much faith, hope, and love..have a beautiful Easter and Springtime..with love, as always..

  33. Laurie Walt says:

    Happy Birthday Susan! Eat cake!

  34. Carilyn Wolski says:

    Hello Susan! HAPPY BIRTHDAY to the best artist and author in the world!!!!! Wishing you many blessings of healthy and happy days all year long!!!! God Bless You and know I will be thinking of you on your special day!!!!!

  35. Dear Susan,
    From one Aries to another (my birthday was on Monday the 10th)……..best wishes for a very, very Happy Birthday! Enjoy your special day!

  36. Marty from NYC says:

    Dear Susan:

    A real Red-letter Day! Enjoy every minute of your birthday and look forward to a wonderful year ahead! Fondly ( or madly, wildly, joyously) all our best wishes from all of the BFFs and me.

  37. Joan Lesmeister says:

    Happy Birthday Dear Sweet Susan! I’m singing to you with a beautiful voice, maybe like Doris Day???!!! Many blessings for the coming year! Have a lovely celebration!!! xoxoxo

  38. Happy Birthday Miss Sue-si-Q!
    Love and wishes for Many Happy Returns of the day!
    xoxoxo
    Gabi

    P.S. Making some chocolate bunnies and a carrot cake in my lambie pan and will put a candle on for you. 🙂

  39. Today I received Gratitude as a gift – LOVE it!! The cover is beautiful!!

  40. Sharon C. says:

    Happy, happy birthday, Susan!!!

  41. Darlene says:

    Happy Birthday Susan! May you be blessed with all the love & happiness that you’ve brought to so many! Thank you for bringing me lots of happiness! 💛

  42. Joan McCusker says:

    Hi Susan~Have been meaning to do this all day…better late than never….Happy Birthday and many happy returns!! It is still your Birthday in California…you bring such joy to my life and many others…thinking of you and wishing you peace and happiness in the coming year. xoxo

  43. Judy in Ohio says:

    Good morning, dear Susan! I am so sorry that I missed your Birthday..and a very special one at that! I hope it was VERY happy and as special as you deserve…And wishing you an especially wonderfully awesome year ahead!! 🙂

    <3

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you Judy! It’s hard to miss my birthday, because it’s still going on! The next party, which I’m sharing with two other April girlfriends, is April 21!

  44. Debbie Boerger says:

    Thinking of you yesterday! I know it was a happy one with many more to come. I hope you feel all the love we send, Dear Sue. You are truly the Gift that keeps on giving.

    Debbie in Tampa….for now

    PS Was your cake deelish?

    • sbranch says:

      It was heavenly. Just a lovely day/week for me. My kitchen table looks like a flower shop!

  45. Brenda Evans says:

    A dear friend of mine loaned me your books to read and I just finished the last one. I read them all 3 in 3 days – I couldn’t put them down. I cried at the end because I didn’t want it to end. I hope you are going to write another book. I went online and ordered Heart of the Home because I’m dying to see all the recipes. Fairy Tale Girl was so good. I especially like the update at the end of the book on everyone you talked about and I cried over the kitties even though I know it’s probably been awhile since their passing. Being a kitty lover I can relate. Whatever happened to the cottage that you bought? I don’t think you still live there do you. Wonderful books Susan – you are a treasure.

    • sbranch says:

      Wow, 3 in 3 days! That definitely says something. Thank you Brenda! A very sweet compliment. When I met Joe, it quickly came to our attention that Holly Oak was too small for both of us and book writing too. So we found the house we’re in now and sold Holly Oak, originally, to my good friend Elizabeth, but she has since sold it to another woman. I drive by it every so often just to say hello. xoxo

  46. Judith says:

    Hi Susan, I am still getting caught up on your older blog posts and I just finished Sept. 25th, 2013. I had to tell you that your dearest little “Blog Daddy” moved me to tears with his big hug and invitation to all the girlfriends, to imagine sitting on his porch and enjoying ribs and juice around the table with you all. What a kind and generous heart. You don’t fall far from a very special tree. I can only imagine how much you miss him. I now miss him, too! His caring, wit, and wisdom live on! ♥

    • sbranch says:

      It was wonderful having him here. He was so stuck in his chair toward the end that this blog was a chance for him to travel without getting up too much! I feel so LUCKY that we had that moment with him. He was something alright. A big hole in my world. And yet, the memories, the years, I am left with a huge feeling of gratitude. Thank you Judith, that was very sweet of you. xoxo

  47. sylvia in seattle says:

    Just watched those English Boys singing Happy Birthday Susan. So cute are they. I’m thinking I must sign on to Twitter. Looks like you had a great birthday. What a year you’ve had. It’s been such fun following along.

  48. Jenni says:

    I just finished Fairy Tale Girl and loved it (aside from the heartbreak)! You write like you are just sitting and chatting with a friend and we can relate to everything, all of us who were attempting to grow up in that time anyway. It is so interesting to see how you got started with your painting and all, truly a gift! I think it was very brave of Cliff to come to your Event, don’t you? But I’m happy that he was brave 🙂 I am just about to start Martha’s Vineyard now and can’t wait! Your books are lovely and so dreamy with the painting and quotes and all. Thank you – Thank you!

    • sbranch says:

      I’m a letter writer from way back, so when I write books, I’m just writing letters to my girlfriends and I guess it shows! Yes, Cliff was brave, but I think he had a really good time. Thank you Jenni, I’m so happy to hear you’re enjoying the books!

  49. Joan Lesmeister says:

    Yesterday our 2 daughters sent picture – they had eaten at Bayside Cafe!!! Argghh! I wanted to be there!!! Families are camping & visiting with our Cal Poly granddaughter, so of course I had to tell them about the cafe and that wonderful walk you & Joe went on! Waiting for picture of walk!!! XOXO

  50. Regina Carretta says:

    Regina Carretta says:
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    April 12, 2017 at 7:59 am

    good rainy Seattle morning to you, Susan….happy you are safely home, and enjoying your birthday….I just returned from a week in London with 3 other friends….we stayed in a tiny hotel in the Bloomsbury neighborhood, close to Russell Square where daffodils and cherry trees were blooming….close to the British Museum and the Russell Square tube stop which took us everywhere….the people were so friendly and open….even getting into discussions about Brexit, our president’s affect on relations with our friends (England), and how important travel is…how important one to one meet-up’s are, as Phillip and Claire (our new London acquaintances) said, we need to meet each other, to show that we are good people who represent our countries. We met them at the Princess Diana Memorial White Gardens at Kensington Palace…they were lovely people. So London – so much history, cozy corners, music, spring just blooming….pubs, tea and scones and clotted cream, Pollock’s Toy Museum, Notting Hill walks (oh my – look up “Alice’s” antique shop in Notting Hill – colorful tea mugs for all!), Tate Britain museum, free lunch concerts at St. Martins-in-the-Fields church, Kew Gardens, Virginia Woolf’s old house (all those blue plaques on the places where writers, artists lived)….the red busses, the red phone boxes…the children! The East End – Brick Lane Indian restaurants, Dennis Severs House (a tour of a house of a typical Huguenot family in the 1700’s)….now my next trip will include some smaller villages, reachable by train, some places you documented in your books…thanks for all your travel journaling about the UK – they are our best allies, best friends in the world….I hope our current leaders appreciate them and treat them with friendship and respect…travel is so important to teach us that we are not the center of the universe, that other, really good people, are struggling, laughing, creating, and living their lives…..thanks, Susan – so much!

    Reply

    • sbranch says:

      What a fabulous trip. I loved my armchair version of it, thank you! Aren’t the people lovely? They like us too. It’s wonderful. Reading about what they went through during WWII should be a lesson to us all on every level imaginable. Welcome Home Regina, happy spring!

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